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When the first issue of the Alumni Review – which in fall 1982 became Carolina Alumni Review – was published 95 years ago, it contained 32 pages.  It included:

  • Six pages of alumni notes and obituaries along with an extensive article noting the passing of Col. Thomas S. Kenan (class of 1957), who was GAA president for 25 years;
  • Two pages outlining the organizational plan for the GAA;
  • Two pages recounting the observance of University Day;
  • Three pages of accounts from local alumni club meetings;
  • An article by Edward Kidder Graham (class of 1989) about the passing of Thomas Hume, professor emeritus of English;
  • An account of the tragic death of a freshman resulting from a fraternity hazing incident;
  • An article titled “The Present Status of Athletics” with updates on football, baseball and tennis;
  • Faculty notes;
  • Several short news items, including a report that Vance-Pettigrew-Battle dormitory, built on the site of the old Central Hotel, was completed and occupied and that Peabody Hall, future home of the School of Education, would be completed in January.

Doug Dibbert ’70

Each of the eight photos was in black and white, and there were no advertisements, although there was an appeal to readers to help identify prospective advertisers.  (We recently added this first issue of the magazine to the online archive that includes all issues of the Review dating back to 1994, available to GAA members on the GAA Web site.  The first issue is presented online as a PDF, and you can read it at alumni.unc.edu/vol1no1.)

Importantly, that first issue described the Review’s purposes, which included the expectation that the magazine would carry news about the University as well as news about alumni.  It also expressed the aim of helping all alumni feel that, instead of being isolated individuals, they are part of a “large, hopeful, efficient body” of people with whom they can “work to high common ends.”  Not least of all, that early charting of the Review’s purposes affirmed that the magazine would serve as “the official organ of the General Alumni Association.
Just as Carolina students have a long, proud tradition of self-governance, Carolina’s former students also enjoy a rich heritage of alumni self-governance, which is reflected within the pages of this magazine.  Like alumni associations at the universities of Michigan, California-Berkley, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio State and several others, ours is a self-governed alumni association.  The GAA’s Board of Directors, most of whom are elected by the GAA’s dues-paying members, have fiduciary responsibility for the association and develop and enforce its policies.

Readers of the Review who also are alumni of other colleges or universities probably know that most alumni magazines are published by their institutions.  We believe that the often-noted enthusiasm, loyalty and engagement of Carolina alumni have long been fostered by the Review.  While the Review does not engage in investigative journalism, it has earned credibility with our readers because it includes news and perspectives that are not always found in institutionally published magazines.  Over the years, GAA members have expressed respect and appreciation for this objectivity and have come to believe that the Review truly is yours.  Significantly, various forms of research have shown that, among all alumni, GAA members typically are better informed about and more involved with Carolina than alumni who are not GAA members.  They also are more supportive – as confirmed by the fact that nearly 90 percent of the contributions made to the Carolina First Campaign by alumni have been made by GAA members.

The Carolina Alumni Review continues to serve to inform and involve our alumni with each other and with our University.  You can be proud that, each year for more than a decade, the Review has earned competitive awards for its design and/or its writing.   As Alumni Editor Regina Oliver ’75 has often noted, “We write for our readers.”  Because of the added burden of responsibility that falls to the GAA as publisher of the Review, some years ago the GAA developed and continues to revise a “statement of purpose” that guides all of us who have the joy of shaping your alumni magazine.  We share that statement with you in this issue on page 63, and as always, we welcome your comments.

Yours at Carolina,

Doug signature

 

 

 

Douglas S. Dibbert ’70

doug_dibbert@unc.edu

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